LIVERPOOL, July 10 (Xinhua) -- More than 70 passengers and crew were rescued from one of the world famous Mersey Ferries Sunday after it ran aground and started taking on water.
Emergency teams raced to the river at Eastham near Liverpool after the alarm was raised.
Passengers were aboard the Royal Iris when the incident happened in the river. They were all led to safety aboard a river dredger which was at the scene. None of the 69 passengers and five crew members were injured in the incident.
The damaged ferry was escorted into a riverside dock to enable an examination of the hull to take place.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said the grounding of the ferry caused a hole and the ship began to take on water.
A fleet of ambulances, fire and rescue officers as well as coastguards and lifeboat rescue teams were all at the scene.
The ferry normally conveys commuters between the two sides of the River Mersey between Liverpool and Wirral, but Sunday it was on a scheduled cruise along the river and into the ship canal linking Liverpool and Manchester.
Passenger Mike Shinks told local media there was no panic as all the passengers moved from the Royal Iris on to the dredger.
A spokesperson for ferry operators, Merseytravel, said: "The Royal Iris has been escorted into the Eastham lock system and we will investigate the cause of this incident."
A ferry across the river has operated for 1,000 years, making it one of the oldest ferry links in the world. The river ferries are one of Liverpool's biggest tourism attractions. Enditem